MailChimp Sync Tool

Basics

  • A MailChimp account is required to use the MailChimp Sync Tool.
  • The tool can be set up with only one MailChimp account.
  • The MailChimp Sync Tool allows you to synchronize Publications in MinistryPlatform with Lists in MailChimp.
  • You can schedule the sync to run nightly to ensure that Publications in MinistryPlatform with Lists in MailChimp are up to date.
  • The list of Subscribers will be deduplicated by the tool before the Publication syncs each time.
  • You can receive a sync report email summarizing the results of the scheduled sync, if desired. The tool UI will show the email address that will receive the Sync Report email or remind the User to configure an email based if blank.
  • The tool's two-way sync includes the following features:
    • The tool compares the email addresses in the Publication and the List and reconciles them. Note: Any Contact with a matching email address will be added to the Publication.This means that if two people have the same email address listed in MP, they will both be added.
    • The tool can optionally add new records to the Platform.
    • The tool can optionally remove hard-bounced email addresses from the Platform.
    • The tool sends the Email Address, First Name and Last Name from MinistryPlatform to MailChimp (useful for including merge fields in your MailChimp email).
    • The tool sends the Congregation (from the Contact's Household record) to MailChimp as a Custom Data Field (Name of the Congregation as text) to be used for building/reporting on Lists in MailChimp.
  • MinistryPlatform has no limit for how many records that can be synced at one time. However, MailChimp's API imposes a maximum limit of 15,000 records that can be synced at one time.
  • When comparing MailChimp with MinistryPlatform, the last modified/created dates are compared in both MailChimp and MinistryPlatform and the most recent time/newest available data is declared the winner.  
  • When creating records on MailChimp from Ministry Platform:
    • FNAME = First_Name
    • LNAME = Last_Name
    • CONGREGATION = Contact_Household_Congregation OR Unknown if NULL
    • GENDER = Contact_Gender OR Unknown if NULL
  • Unsubscribes from MailChimp should sync through to MinistryPlatform and do one of the following:
    • Mark all Contact_Publications with a matching email address as Unsubscribed.
    • Unsubscribed records for Contacts not already subscribed are not added.
    • Unsubscribed counts are not shown in the tool
  • The tool does not sync or support MailChimp "segments" or MailChimp "groups". 

Initial Setup

*Important* MailChimp updated their API in Fall 2017. Depending on your account, you might need to generate a new MailChimp API Key and update the related Configuration Setting following the steps below.
 
A SPoC must complete one-time initial setup in order to use the MailChimp Sync Tool.
  1. Setup a MailChimp account. Remember that only one MailChimp account can be used with the tool.
  2. Get a MailChimp API Key.
  3. Go to Administration > Configuration Settings and update the following Configuration Settings. When doing so, double-check that you have no trailing spaces in the Values of each Configuration Setting, as erroneous spaces can cause errors when using the tool:
    • CORETOOLS,MailChimpAPIKey: the API Key obtained in step 2.
    • CORETOOLS,MailChimpRemoveSubscriptionOnBounceProcessing: set to TRUE if you want bounced email address' subscription status in the Publication to be automatically set to Unsubscribed=TRUE.
    • CORETOOLS,MailChimpRemoveEmailOnBounceProcessing: set to TRUE if you want bounced email addresses to be removed from the Contact record(s) they're in (note: it only takes one bounce for the email address to be removed).
    • MailChimpReportEmail: the email address that will receive a sync report email summarizing the results of the scheduled sync. Email arrives as "Sync Results for [Publication Name]". If blank, no email will be sent. 
    • CORETOOLS,MailChimpCreateMissingContactOnSubscribe: our recommended setting for this configuration setting is FALSE. The unexpected creation of duplicates is far more likely if this setting is TRUE. Set to TRUE if you want new Contact/Household/Participant records to be created in MinistryPlatform during the sync process based on records that exist in MailChimp but don't exist in MinistryPlatform. If you do not want missing contacts created, set this to FALSE: 
      • New Contacts require a First Name, Last Name and Email from MailChimp in order to be created.
      • When a new record is created in Ministry Platform, the COMMON default Configuration Settings are used as the default values including the Household Congregation. 
      • The Participant record will include a note indicating "Created by MailChimp Sync Tool".
  4. Grant user access to the tool via Security Roles.
  5. Ensure your data is correctly organized into the desired Lists in MailChimp. If you are new to MailChimp, check out Organizing Lists in the Mailchimp kb.
  6. Ensure your data is correctly organized into the desired Publications in MinistryPlatform. Unique Publications should exist for every MailChimp List you want to sync.
  7. Test it! For your first test, consider starting with an empty List in MailChimp and use the tool to push data from MinistryPlatform to MailChimp. This is a "safe" way to make sure things are working correctly.

Syncing with MailChimp 

Sync Now (Submit to Sync Queue)
  1. Ensure you have a List in MailChimp for the Publication in MinistryPlatform you want to sync.
  2. Launch the tool by either:
    • Going to Publications page > open desired Publication record > Tools > MailChimp Sync Tool, OR
    • Going to Publications > Tools > MailChimp Sync Tool > search for the desired MinistryPlatform Publication.
  3. Select the desired MailChimp List.
  4. Review the sync summary comparing the emails in the Publication and the List.
  5. Click Sync Now.
  6. Receive confirmation message: This list has been added to the sync queue.
  7. Click Close.

Your request to sync will be submitted to the queue and start syncing in the background as soon as possible. There is no need to leave the tool open. Once submitted, the tool will not provide any confirmation or update based on the status or results of the sync. When complete, if configured, the sync results email will be sent to the specified email address with details of the sync.

Schedule Nightly Sync
  1. Ensure you have a List in MailChimp for the Publication in MinistryPlatform you want to sync.
  2. Launch the tool by either:
    • Going to Publications page > open desired Publication record > Tools > MailChimp Sync Tool, OR
    • Going to Publications > Tools > MailChimp Sync Tool > search for the desired MinistryPlatform Publication.
  3. Select the desired MailChimp List.
  4. Review the sync summary comparing the emails in the Publication and the List.
  5. Check the box to have these synced nightly.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Close.

The sync will now be submitted to the queue each night for syncing. When complete, if configured, the sync results email will be sent to the specified email address with details of the sync.

Modify Nightly Sync
  1. Open the desired Publication record that is scheduled to sync nightly with a MailChimp List.
  2. Choose Tools > MailChimp Sync Tool.
  3. To change the List synced with this Publication, change the selected MailChimp List.
  4. To turn off nightly syncing for this Publication, un-check the sync nightly check box.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click Close.

Video Topics

0:08 - Initial set up
0:54 - Features of the Tool
1:27 - Launching the Tool
2:23 - Syncing nightly
2:46 - Modifying the nightly sync

 

Tags: Video

Last Modified: 5/13/2019

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